Marian Apparitions of Our Lady

May 4, 2019

Bob and Penny Lord wrote this about Marian Apparitions of Our Lady just before they wrote the book Many Faces of Mary.


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My relationship with Mary is a very personal one.  She is my first love.  I can talk to Mary.  I can count on her.  I have been in love with her for as long as I can remember.  It’s been an on again, off again romance with us, not on her part, but on mine.  She’s constant.  She has always “been”.  When I’ve broken away from her, wrapped myself up in the glamour of the world, she stood by.  When I thought I had outgrown her, didn’t need her anymore, she waited.  I always came back.  She was always there.

Our bond is unique.  I’ve never heard anyone speak of their feelings for her in the same way that I do.  But I wonder if the truth is that others do feel as I do towards her, but just don’t know how to say it.  Or possibly they are afraid to say the words “I love You.  I have always loved you.”  I’ve spoken to many people who have a special devotion to Mary.  I’ve looked at their eyes as they speak of her, and what she means to them.

They say with their mouths, things like “I have a strong devotion to Mary”, and “I always pray to Mary”, or “She has never let me down”.  But their eyes betray their words.  There’s a cloudiness in their expressions, a wetness in their eyes that tells of a much deeper emotion than their lips proclaim.  I wonder if they wouldn’t rather blurt out, “I deeply love Mary.  I always have.  I put her on a pedestal, not the way you would a holy person, or a saint, but like that perfect woman whom you’ve found, and will love forever”.  I want to shout it from the rooftops.  “I LOVE HER!!  I’M IN LOVE WITH MARY!!”  So, instead, I write a book.

Mary has guided me and protected me all my life, from the time my mother carried me in her womb.  My mother, a good Irish Catholic girl, used to tell everyone that she had a dream while she was pregnant with me.  In that dream, she found herself walking through a haze, towards a great light off in the distance.  She was drawn to it.  Though she had no sensation of walking, she got closer and closer to the source of the light.    She could make out the figure of a woman holding a child.  The haze lifted.  She recognized Mary standing in front of her, holding what she assumed to be the Christ Child.   The child was beautiful and radiant, but not as brilliant as Our Lady.  My mother recalled that she thought this was unusual.  Her belief was that Jesus would outshine everyone.  The splendor of His Presence would overcome even the aura of His Mother.

She awoke from her dream puzzled as to why Our Lady would appear to her, holding the Baby Jesus, and why the aura surrounding Mary was greater than that of the child.  She assumed the vision was a sign from Heaven that my birth would be a successful and healthy one.  My mother went on to complete her pregnancy, and I was born a robust and healthy handful.  Her attention was diverted to welcoming and taking care of the new member of the family.  She forgot about the dream.

In her story of this dream, mother recounted that something uncanny happened as I grew into my third month.  She had the strange feeling that she knew me, as though from another time, another place.  I looked so familiar to her. She racked her brain for days, trying to unravel the mystery.  Then one night she had the same dream again.  Only this time, she understood why the child had not outshone Mary.  The child in the dream, the same child Mary had held months before, was not the baby Jesus.  It was me.

Mary said to my mother “He is mine.  Take care of him”.

My mother kept faithful to the charge she had been given as well as she could for as long as she could.  She was the victim of an alcoholic husband, my father.  She suffered greatly, trying to salvage her marriage, and at the same time, take care of two young boys.  The Great Depression ended.  The war years came.  There was plenty of money around for defense workers.  But while other people amassed fortunes during the war, or at least little nest eggs for the future, my father spent all his money on liquor and friends.  Neither my mother, my brother nor I ever saw “Happy Days are Here Again”.  Babies, we found ourselves going to every bar on the waterfront in Brooklyn, near the defense plants and shipyards, on payday, trying frantically to find my father to get a little money before it was all gone.

By the time the war was over, my mother was a beaten woman, without any self worth.  Her youth and innocence had been stolen from her.  The one chance my parents had at making something out of their lives, had been wasted.  It was now behind them.  The balloon of the big war money had burst.  My father went back to the meager existence of struggling to make ends meet.  My mother finally gave in to my father;  she, too, became an alcoholic.  They lived out their lives in misery and disappointment.

I don’t mean to speak harshly of my parents.  They were good people.  I loved them very much.  I’m sure they are both very happy and at peace with Jesus and Mary in the Kingdom.  They were just victims.  We know about victims.  We see our children, victims, falling dead every day from the satan of drugs.  We’ve lost almost a whole generation.  In my parents’ time, it was the satan of alcohol.  They were victims of the Roaring 20’s, the Flapper Days.  Alcoholism was the socially acceptable behavior.  They were completely overwhelmed by the culture of the anti- Christ prevalent in their day.  When the great chastisement of the Depression overtook them, they were already addicts.

My mother was not able to fulfill the mandate Mary had given her.  Mary, my lady, had to take over personally.  She had plans for me from the very beginning.  When I was very young, I felt the compelling desire to spend my life wrapped in the warm, protective cloak of Mary in the Church.  I remember once, at age 11 or 12, wanting to go to Mass every morning during Advent at a local cloistered Monastery in the Bronx.  The masses were celebrated at 6:45 a.m.  That meant I had to wake myself at 6 a.m. because my father, who was the first to rise, didn’t get up until 6:45 a.m.

In those days, we didn’t use expressions like “Filled with the Holy Spirit”.  I just had a thought.  Everybody else had a thought too.  They thought I was crazy.  I couldn’t explain why I wanted to do it.  I just did.  It was very cold when I left the house at 6:20 to go to the Monastery.  I’ll never forget the gusts of cold winter air hitting my face, penetrating through my winter coat to my clothes, to my skin, as I opened the front door of my house each morning.  At the beginning, right after Thanksgiving, it was cold.  By the time Christmas eve approached, it was bitter.  There were days of freezing rain, and days of gentle snowfall.  But all the mornings gave me great peace, walking in the pre-dawn hours, just Jesus, Mary and me.  I believe that year, 1946 or 1947, was the most beautiful Christmas I have ever experienced.  I never felt so fulfilled at Mass.  I can still recall the fragrance of burning candles and incense.  From that time, churches have always had a special aroma for me.  The voices of the nuns chanting their morning prayers still echo in the recesses of my mind.

Until I began to write this book, I never realized how much an 11 year old has a need for tranquility, for belonging.  I was so at home in that Monastery.  I didn’t want to go back out to the cold world.  I was in my mother’s womb, warm and protected.  My mother was Mary.

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I thought I had a vocation to the priesthood.  I never fantasized being a priest, wearing priestly clothes or doing priestly things.  I envisioned myself in the Presence.  I was not sure what Presence.  Mary was there.  The colorful saints, whose lives I had read, or had been read to me, were there.  Jesus was very much there.  That little monastery on Baretto Street in the Bronx was there.  It was the hub.  I believe that more than a vocation to the priesthood, I had an overpowering desire for relationship with people I was deeply in love with.  I had never met them personally or physically.  But they were all there, around me, speaking to me, touching me, loving me.  And at the head was Mary, the indescribably beautiful Mary.

There is an expression used by the young people today, “Get into the Real World”.  The confusion lies in determining what is the Real World and what is Fantasy.  At age 14, I thought the real world was the world of girls, drinking and partying.  That had been the world of my father.  That world was calling me.  My biological system had gone through the trauma of puberty, and with it my value system.  Physical and emotional discoveries overpowered me.  In addition, I broke out in pimples all over my face.  As I grew into my teen age years, the distorted glamour of evil pulled me away from my true love.  Eventually, it drew me away completely.  The images I thought to be real, I learned in later years were fantasy, unreal.  The only reality was the love I had embraced as a child, then walked away from completely as a young man.

There’s a wise saying, “The 35 year old man has to live with the decisions made by the 18 year old”.  Our whole lives are determined by the mistakes we make as young people.  That should have been my fate.  But my Lady didn’t let it happen.  She had too much work for me to do.  She was willing to wait for me until I finally grew up.

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Every now and then, Mary showed herself very strongly in strange ways, in strange places.  For example, I worked at Radio City Music Hall as an usher during my high school days.  I had become romantically involved with the girls in the Corps de Ballet, and the Rockettes.  They were all older than I; but as long as I was willing to adopt their way of life, they accepted me.  Although I was going to a Catholic High School, I had all but forgotten about Mary and the Saints.  They didn’t fit into my new life style.  At about that time, somehow, a book came my way.  It was called THE SONG OF BERNADETTE.  It dealt with the apparitions of Mary to Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes in the year 1858.  Here I was, completely lost in this beautiful book on Mary and Bernadette.  I was a contradiction, sitting in the Employee’s Cafeteria of Radio City Music Hall with all my new found show business friends, older girls and guys whose values had nothing at all to do with Mary or anything Marian.  I still have that book from 1952.  The cover is gone, as are the first 7 or 8 pages.  But it is a very special book to me.

The pull from Mary was strong, very strong, but not strong enough.  For a few months, I was renewed in my love for her and Our Lord Jesus, but then I began to backslide.  Soon the transition was complete.  I was back to my old ways.  I had left her behind.  Every now and then, she came back into my consciousness.  But I conveniently pushed her out of my mind.  Even during my time in the service, I was stationed in France, not 200 miles away from Lourdes, but I never went to visit her at her shrine.  Paris was 600 miles away, yet I went there every chance I had.  But when I was in Paris, I never visited the Chapel of the Miraculous Medal, or the Church of Our Lady of the Victories.

SEPTEMBER 23, 1957.  Dates are very important.  Jesus used numbers as symbols during His Ministry.  In the history of the Church, many important events occurred on September 23.  Padre Pio died on September 23, 1968.  The first Eucharistic Congress in Abruzzi was held on September 23, 1921.  I met Ernest Hemingway in the Yankee Stadium and got him to autograph one of his books on September 23, 1957.  But the most important thing about September 23 is it is the day my Penny was born.  And September 23, 1957 was the day Mary chose to place Penny in my path.

We refer at this time to St. Paul’s letter to the Romans, Chapter 8, Verses 28-30.  We know that God makes all things work together for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his decree.  Those whom He foreknew He predestined to share the image of His Son, that the Son might be the first- born  of many brothers.  Those He predestined, He likewise called; those He called He also justified; and those He justified, He in turn glorified.

I believe very strongly that God has planned out the lives of every soul He has created.  While we have to say “Yes” in the same way that Mary said “Yes” in order for God to work in our lives, I believe that He has orchestrated a beautiful life for all of us, if we just get out of the way.  I believe that God has had a plan for me since before I was born.  I believe that Penny and I were chosen for each other from the beginning of time to be husband and wife.  I believe that Mary came to me in the form of Penny, to be the instrument to bring me back to the Lord, and to give myself to Him through Mary in full time Ministry.  These are things I believe.  I know for a fact that Penny was given to me for my salvation.

In the early days of our marriage, Penny and I spent most of our time struggling to survive, much like any average married couple.  Our Lord Jesus had to take last place, and with it, my Mary.  But they waited.  They knew what work we had to do, and they allowed us all the normal desires that young married couples have, a good job, beautiful children, a house, cars, money.

We worked hard.  We have always been achievers.  It was almost as if we had a check list.  First we achieved the children, then the house, the cars, and finally the money.  When we had achieved everything we wanted, we lost our 19 year old son, our precious boy, to an overdose of drugs.  He was a victim of that world.  Instead of blaming ourselves for allowing a society to exist that could destroy our children, while we were busy achieving, we blamed God.  Doesn’t everybody?

Still, Jesus and Mary waited.  They gave us four years to mourn, to turn off God, Church, and each other.  Then, on January 1, 1975, The Feast of the Solemnity of Mary, the first day of the Holy Year, they hit us over the head with a two by four.  We will never forget it.  It was a typical New Year’s Day.  We had stayed at home.  Our daughter Cheryl, (now Sister Clare) had come over for dinner with our grandson, Rob, and a Jewish friend.  The conversation centered around important matters, the Football games that day.  We had dinner.  After it was over, and everyone had left, I took the table cloth out to the patio to shake it out.  Again, I HAD A THOUGHT.

We hadn’t been to Mass on Sunday for four years.  My thought was, I’d like to go to Mass every day from now on.  First I called the local church, where we had never attended Mass, to find out what the schedule was.  Then I went in to the family room where Penny was watching television.  I said, “Honey, how would you like to go to Mass every day from now on?”

Her reaction was normal.  She was completely shocked.  But she had a thought.  “For many years he went to Mass on Sunday for me.  I owe it to him, for whatever reason he has, to support him in this.”  The first day we entered the church, I had a feeling that I can’t describe, except to say I had come home.  The warmth I had felt as a child in the Monastery in the Bronx at daily Mass had returned.  Penny said my eyes gleamed with love for Our Dear Lord in the Eucharist, and everything that the Church represented.  She was afraid for a time that I was going to divorce her to become a priest.

That was the beginning.  We have never missed the gift of the Eucharist one day from that time to this.  We’ve given ourselves up to full time ministry. We don’t earn the kind of money we were used to.  We don’t have the freedom to go anywhere, or do anything we want anymore. But the places we are not free to visit, we don’t want to visit; and the things we cannot have, we don’t want.  We have come home. LORD, IT IS GOOD FOR US TO BE HERE.

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The Miraculous Holy House of Loreto

May 4, 2019

The Miraculous Holy House of Loreto

Our Lady of Loreto

St. Francis of Assisi went to the Holy Land, in 1220, to convert the Saracens or die trying.  During his time there, he went to Nazareth and spent time at the Holy House, where the Annunciation took place, where the Holy Family lived from the time they returned from Egypt until Jesus began His public Ministry.  Francis spent much time, praying there.  We believe the Holy Family spoke to him in the little House; because when he came back to Italy, he went out on the road, preaching the Good News of the Kingdom.

One of the first places he went to was a little town of no accord, north of Assisi, off the Adriatic Sea, about thirty miles inland from Ancona.  The town was called Loreto.  Francis told his brothers to begin preaching there.  They looked around and protested, saying the town was too small and the area too remote.  Francis prophesied “Someday this place will be known as the holiest place on earth.”

Seventy four years later, the Holy House of Nazareth arrived in Loreto.  Had Mother Mary spoken to St. Francis about this move when he was in Nazareth, before the Crusaders had lost the battle, and had been expelled from the Holy Land?  He knew something!  Was this one of the many things our Holy Family shared with this, one of their favorite sons?

Our Lord Jesus loves His Mother Mary.  He watches out for Her, and protects everything on earth that had anything to do with Her time here.  And so it was, in the year 1291, when the Saracens (Moslems) decided to vent their venom and hate against Christ, and all things Christian.  The Crusades were over.  The Christians had been defeated and run out of the Holy Land.  By destroying every holy place in Palestine, the Moslems thought they could eliminate every sign or vestige of Jesus’ existence in history.

St. Helena, Emperor Constantine’s mother, had made churches of all the holy places in Jesus’ life.  It was as if the Saracens believed, if they took away these outward signs of Jesus, they could wipe away that Love that beats in each and every person’s heart, that longing to be more, to love and be loved more.  We wonder, were the Saracens the ones who really wanted to destroy man’s hope, or could it be it was the fallen angels who know all too well the needs and desires of the human heart?

The Saracens went on a rampage.  There would not be a stone left upon a stone on any of the holy places.  If there were no longer any Shrines where Jesus was born, where He grew up, where He taught, where He healed and called man to new life in His Father, where He died for us, where He rose giving us eternal hope that we, too, would rise, then man would forget he has a Savior, and have no reason to live.  Satan was having a field day.  He could see the last remnants of Christianity destroyed in this Holy Land.

The Saracens descended on Bethlehem.  They went to the church built over the spot where Christ was born.  They would level it!  But when they approached the building, they believed to be where He was born, they saw a mosaic outside depicting three Arab kings (the three wise men).  This could not be the place of Jesus’ birth, they thought.  This is a mosque, dedicated to Arab kings of the past.  So they left this place, and continued looking for the birthplace of Jesus.  Our Lord had used the Angels to form a shield around the church, which blocked the minds and senses of the Saracens.  He would not allow this place, where His Mother had given birth to Him, to be desecrated.

Our Lady of Loreto inside the Holy House of Loreto

At about the same time, hordes of Saracens rode, for all they were worth, their horses covered with foam of white lather as they strained to go beyond their limit, towards Nazareth.  They would destroy the house of Mary.  Never again would Christians celebrate the Annunciation, there.  Never again would they be reminded of the Jewish Virgin’s yes that helped to redeem the world.  It was well known that Jesus’ Apostles and disciples began celebrating Mass in the Holy House of Nazareth soon after Jesus’ death.  It was a Shrine from the earliest days of Christianity.  This was an important place for the Saracens to destroy.  This is where it had all begun.

We believe the Lord uses His Angels to do the extraordinary.  He has great power, and He has given the Angels some of His power that they might glorify His Name, and help us in our walk toward Him.  While we agree that God formed nature, and adheres to the rules He has set up for nature, we also believe God can do anything He wants, whenever He wants.  We contend it’s wrong for humans to put God into a box, placing earthly limitations on what He can and cannot do.

If God, in His majesty, wants to set aside the laws of Nature, and give Angels bodies with wings, and superhuman strength to pick up large objects, like houses, and transport them at the speed of light anywhere He chooses, we say Yes, Lord, praise You Lord, thank You Lord.  Jesus tells us, “I assure you, if you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you would be able to say to this mountain, `Move from here to there,’ and it would move.  Nothing would be impossible for you.” (Mt17:20)

Do I believe God can move mountains, and with faith I can?  Yes, because He told me so.  Do I believe God, through His Angels, lifted up the Holy House and moved it out of Nazareth to protect it from the hatred of His enemies?  Yes, because I have seen it.  Do I believe God can move men’s hearts?  Now, I shout yes from the mountain tops because through prayer, I have experienced it.

We believe there has always been a legion of Angels protecting the house of the Annunciation.  Here, Gabriel appeared to Mary, and the Holy Family lived until Jesus began His public ministry.  We believe Gabriel never left this place.  But now, when danger seemed so imminent, we can visualize an army of Angels racing down from Heaven, their wings glistening in the sun, Michael joining Gabriel, his red cape whirling around him.  The sky was filled with Angels, from one end of the horizon to the other.  The earth shook with the vibrations of their wings.  They swooped down and formed a barricade around the house.  The Angels were here, and they meant business!

Our Lord had good reason to call forth His Angels.  The Basilica, built over the Holy House, had been destroyed twice before by the Arabs, once as long ago as 1090 A.D.  For some unknown reason, they had never disturbed the crypt (lower church), where the Holy House and the grotto were located.  The Crusaders rebuilt the Basilica shortly after they arrived in Nazareth.  Acts of sacrilege by the Moslems, were a major reason the Crusades began in the first place; for it was right after the atrocity to the Basilica of the Annunciation that the Holy War began.

The second time, the Basilica was destroyed, was in 1263.  Again, the crypt was not disturbed, praise God.  But then, the Crusaders were not able to rebuild the Basilica, and the Holy House was left unprotected.  When it was evident the Crusaders had lost the Holy Land in 1291, our Lord Jesus decided that since He could not depend on man to protect this holy place, He would send the Angels.  They would surely defend this Shrine to His Blessed Mother and their Queen.  The Lord gave the Angels a mandate!

“Move the Holy House; take it to a safer place, far from the hatred of My enemies in this land of My birth.  Lift it; lift it high into the air, where they can’t get at it.  Don’t let them see it.”

We can be sure Michael and Gabriel were in charge, supervising the movement of this most holy place, where the Holy Spirit had formed the Savior of the world in the womb of Mary.  In unison, the Angels raised the house from its foundation, and carried it high into the sky, resting it upon clouds which hid it from the earth.  When the Saracens arrived, with hatred in their hearts, craving to pillage and burn, they were astonished.  There was nothing there!  Only the grotto remained.  They left it alone; it had no meaning to them.

The Angels transport Our Lady and the Holy House

The Angels carried the Holy House, high above the mountains and deserts of the Holy Land, across the expansive Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas to Illyria (It’s difficult to give the actual name of the country where the Holy House landed.  We have called it Yugoslavia for years, but there is no more Yugoslavia.  The closest to correct that we can determine would be modern-day Croatia.  Although the pilgrims were given a name which was sort of a conglomeration of Croatians and Slovenians,”Schiavoni.”) On May 10, 1291, it quietly set down in the little hamlet of Tersatto, in Illyria now known as Croatia), far from the battle cries of Palestine. 

It was early in the morning, when the local people discovered, to their great surprise, a house resting on the ground.  There was no foundation under it!  Curious to see what it was, they ventured inside.  They found a stone Altar.  On the Altar was a cedar statue of Mother Mary standing with Her Divine Son in Her arms.  The Infant Jesus had the two first fingers of His Right Hand extended in a blessing, and with His Left Hand, He held a golden sphere representing the world.  Both Mary and Jesus were dressed in robes.  Golden crowns were poised on both Their heads.

The villagers were awestruck, but confused, until a short time later, Our Lady appeared to the local Priest and said,

“Know that the house which has been brought up of late to your land, is the same in which I was born and brought up.  Here, at the Annunciation of the Archangel Gabriel, I conceived the Creator of all things.  Here the Word of the Eternal Father became Man.  The Altar which was brought with this house was consecrated by Peter, Prince of the Apostles.

“This house has come from Nazareth to your shores by the power of God, of Whom nothing is impossible.  And now, in order that you may bear testimony of all these things, be healed.  Your unexpected and sudden recovery shall confirm the truth of what I have declared to you.”

The Priest, who had suffered for years from an illness, was immediately cured.  He promptly told all the people, and word of this Gift from God, spread throughout the countryside.  Pilgrimages began coming immediately to the Holy House of Nazareth, in Illyria.  God had chosen to bring it to this little village, and the villagers lovingly responded by erecting a modest, quite primitive building over the house, to protect it from the elements.

However, the joy, the Croatians had experienced at having this most precious gift in their midst, was short-lived.  Three years and five months later, on December 10, 1294, the Holy House disappeared overnight from Croatia, never to return.  Saddened by the loss, Nicholas Fangipani, a devout man from Tersatto, built a small church, a replica of the Holy House, on a hill where the original had stood.  He placed an inscription:

“The Holy House of the Blessed Virgin came from Nazareth on the 10th of May, in the year 1291, and left on the 10th of December, 1294.”

The people from Croatia continued venerating Our Lady in their replica church.  So great was their devotion that Pope Urban V sent the people of Tersatto an image of Our Lady in 1367, which was said to have been painted by St. Luke, the Evangelist.

The people from Tersatto, or Fiume, as it was also called, grieved over the loss of the Holy House and the image of Our Lady.  A Franciscan recalled a group coming across to Loreto from Dalmatia as late as the 16th Century.  He wrote: “In one particular group, there were about 500 pilgrims from Tersatto, with their Priests.  They began their procession into the church of the Holy House on their knees, crying and weeping.  As they approached the Holy House, they wailed in their own tongue, `Come back to Fiume (Tersatto) O Mary, come back to Fiume, O Mary O Mary.’  Repeating these words over again, and with bitter tears, they reached the Holy House.  On seeing Her when the doors were opened, their fervour renewed and they began to repeat the same words again, mixed with many tears.  And they went on with their chant as they went round the Holy House on their knees.”

Another eyewitness account of pilgrims from this area, took place in 1784.  “I myself have heard and seen them in great numbers every year kneeling nearly whole summer nights in front of the closed doors of the Shrine of Loreto; not content with having worshipped, kissed and bathed with their tears the walls of Mary’s blessed House all day, and then sung their chants outside, and prayed to Her, weeping to remember them, in such a way that anyone who saw the repetition of that sorrowful scene was moved to devotion and compassion.”

To this day, pilgrims from that area of Croatia, are given special privileges at the Holy House in Loreto, not because of who they are as much as in sympathy for their great loss.

The Angels move the Holy House to Loreto, Italy. Read More

Fatima celebrates 100th Anniversary of the Apparitions of Mother Mary Part 1 of 4

January 16, 2017

fatima2A bolt of bright light shot out. With St. Michael the Archangel in the lead, his red cloak flowing behind him, a choir of angels on either side of him, and completely surrounded by the angels and the brilliant light, the Queen of Heaven and Earth, of all the Angels and the Saints, my Mary, made her way back to earth one more time.
The children saw what they thought was a flash of lightning streak across the sky. They were sure it meant that rain was coming. But it was followed by complete silence. No wind, not even a breeze broke the calm and quiet of the moment. They were confused. There were no clouds in the sky. But it must have been lightning. They had better get the flock to safety. Another burst of light flew by them. They couldn’t move.
Then, gently, quietly, what seemed like a bubble of light rested on top of the holmoak tree in front of them, and Mary was there. The most powerful message Mary had ever given the world was beginning. Years later, Lucia described the scene,
“It was a lady, clothed in white, brighter than the sun, radiating a light more clear and intense than a crystal cup filled with sparkling water, lit by burning sunlight.”
To anyone analyzing the visits of Our Lady to earth, it becomes immediately obvious that she had an urgency this time that we’ve never seen before. On that first day, she gave these little children, who could not possibly understand, HER KEYNOTE MESSAGE OF FATIMA. Everything she wanted to communicate to the people on earth was touched on in that first apparition.
Mary opened the conversation. “Do not be afraid. I will not harm you.”

Lucia asked her “Where do you come from?”
Our Lady answered “I come from Heaven”. Then she pointed to the blue skies above.
Lucia asked her “What to do you want of me?”
The Lady responded “I have come to ask you to come here for six months on the 13th day of each month, at this same hour. Later I shall tell you who I am and what I want. And I shall return here yet a seventh time.”
Lucia asked “Will I go to Heaven?”
Mary smiled at her and answered “Yes, you will.”
“And Jacinta?”
“She will go too.”
“And Franciso?”
“Francisco too, but he will have to say many Rosaries first.”
Lucia then asked about two girls who had died recently in her village. One was in heaven, and the other in Purgatory, Our Lady told her.
Mary got back to the point of her visit quickly. “Will you offer yourselves to God, and bear all the sufferings which He sends you, in reparation for the sins which offend Him, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners?”
Lucia answered “Yes, we will.”
Our Lady continued “Then you will have much to suffer, but the grace of God will be your strength.”

Lucia described what happened next.fatima3
“As she pronounced these words, she opened her hands and bathed us in a very intense light; it was like a reflection coming from her hands, which penetrated our hearts to the depths of our souls, so that we saw ourselves in God, who was this light, more clearly than in a mirror. Then by an impulse which came from our hearts, we fell on our knees in unison, and repeated inwardly: “O Holy Trinity, I adore You. My God, My God, I love You in the Blessed Sacrament.”
Then Mary said, “Say the Rosary every day, to bring peace to the world and the end of the war.”
Enough! Our Lady wanted to tell them all that she would share with them over the next six months, but knew that she had better stop now. After all, this trio consisted of a 10 year old, an 8 year old, and a 7 year old. How much could their little minds absorb?
The Lady from Heaven slowly ascended. The bubble of light enveloped her; she moved slowly to the east, back to from where she had come, and finally out of sight. The children watched until there was not a sign of her left in the sky.
On their way back to their homes, they made a pact that they would tell no one about what they had seen. There was no way that this would happen, however. They were so filled with joy, they were about to burst. Lucia was able to maintain the discipline they had vowed to keep. Francisco went off by himself to try to sort out what had happened. Keep in mind that on this first apparition, he did not see the Lady. He saw the light, and knew that something important was happening. fatima1On the way home, he heard Lucia and Jacinta talking about the most beautiful lady, but he had not seen anything.
Jacinta, for her part, might just as well not have made any promise. First off, she looked for her mother, who had not as yet returned home. Determined to tell her as soon as she saw her, Jacinta waited became the brunt of very cruel jokes. Adults, whom they had looked up to, yelled at them, and cursed them. The locals were annoyed with the visitors from all over Portugal, who were descending on their quiet village, and creating such a commotion over these “little brats”.

Lucia went through a particularly bad time. Her Parish Priest had a meeting with her. He all but convinced her that it was not Our Lady from Heaven who was visiting her, but the devil. For a ten year old, whatever a Parish Priest said was akin to Gospel Truth. This little girl didn’t have the inner strength of Bernadette at this time in her life; but keep in mind that Bernadette was older than Lucia at the time of the Apparitions in Lourdes. Also, these little ones were being given a series of the most serious messages Our Lady had ever given the world; therefore, it was understandable that the attacks would be greater.
As the time for the July 13 meeting approached, Lucia had decided not to go back to the Cova da Iria. She was convinced she was being assaulted by the devil himself in the form of this beautiful lady. The other two couldn’t understand Lucia’s logic. For them it was impossible that it was anyone other than the Queen of Heaven. So much good was going on at the Cova. It was a contradiction of what satan would have wanted. But they couldn’t budge Lucia. Brave little Jacinta said that if Lucy didn’t go, she would speak to the Lady, though she was frightened out of her mind.

For more about Our Lady of Fatima and the Apparitions including the Miracle of the Sun

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Our Lady of Fatima – May 13, 1917 – 99 years ago – watch short video by Bob and Penny Lord

May 5, 2016

Fatima May 13, 1917

The children saw what they thought was a flash of lightning streak across the sky. They were sure it meant that rain was coming. But it was followed by complete silence. No wind, not even a breeze broke the calm and quiet of the moment. They were confused. There were no clouds in the sky. But it must have been lightning. They had better get the flock to safety. Another burst of light flew by them. They couldn’t move.

Then, gently, quietly, what seemed like a bubble of light rested on top of the holmoak tree in front of them, and Mary was there. The most powerful message Mary had ever given the world was beginning. Years later, Lucia described the scene,

“It was a lady, clothed in white, brighter than the sun, radiating a light more clear and intense than a crystal cup filled with sparkling water, lit by burning sunlight.”

To anyone analyzing the visits of Our Lady to earth, it becomes immediately obvious that she had an urgency this time that we’ve never seen before. On that first day, she gave these little children, who could not possibly understand, HER KEYNOTE MESSAGE OF FATIMA. Everything she wanted to communicate to the people on earth was touched on in that first apparition.

Mary opened the conversation. “Do not be afraid. I will not harm you.”

Lucia asked her “Where do you come from?”

Our Lady answered “I come from Heaven”. Then she pointed to the blue skies above.

Lucia asked her “What to do you want of me?”

The Lady responded “I have come to ask you to come here for six months on the 13th day of each month, at this same hour. Later I shall tell you who I am and what I want. And I shall return here yet a seventh time.”

Lucia asked “Will I go to Heaven?”

Mary smiled at her and answered “Yes, you will.”

“And Jacinta?”

“She will go too.”

“And Franciso?”

“Francisco too, but he will have to say many Rosaries first.”

Lucia then asked about two girls who had died recently in her village. One was in heaven, and the other in Purgatory, Our Lady told her.

Mary got back to the point of her visit quickly. “Will you offer yourselves to God, and bear all the sufferings which He sends you, in reparation for the sins which offend Him, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners?”

Lucia answered “Yes, we will.”

More Here

Celebrating the Gift of Mary on her Birthday Sept 8

September 7, 2015

The Gift of Mary

goodcounselMy most precious family; this is an exciting and important month for us Catholics, especially those who love Mary.  It’s something that could pass you by, because it’s not promoted as much as other things in our Church.  That’s why I’m just here to remind you of it, because I love you.

Next Tuesday is Mother Mary’s Birthday.

Our Lady has given us many gifts during our lifetime.  She has been there for us in many ways; she has worn many faces for us.  She is our Mother; she is our friend; she is our confidant; she leads us to her Son Jesus.

In our book, The Many Faces of Mary, we share with you just some of the miraculous apparitions she has made here on earth.  She came to a little illiterate girl in Lourdes, France and proclaimed her Immaculate Conception.  From that time until this, she has given us miracles at Lourdes, at the Baths, and at the Blessing of the Sick. 49lourdes

In Paris, at the Chapel of the Miraculous Medal, we told you about how Our Lady sat in a chair with St. Catherine Labouré kneeling, her arms in Our Lady’s lap.  Our Lady gave us a gift which will be with us forever. She said:

47miraculous Meda'“But come to the foot of the Altar.  Great graces will be poured out on those who ask for them.”  There is a catch.  You have to   ask for them.  Our Lady’s hands had rings on each finger.  But rays only beamed down from certain fingers.  She said to Catherine Labouré, “the fingers with no rays are graces that have not been asked for.”  The gifts are there.  You have but to ask for them.

It’s so much like the gifts we received at Confirmation, the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit.  They’re wrapped up like Christmas presents, sitting under the tree.  But you have to    take them.  When Penny and I taught Confirmation Class, we walked around the room with a $5 bill, offering it to the students.  Everybody thought it was a trick, and didn’t take it, until one brave soul took it.  He said “Thank You.”  I said “You’re welcome.”  Then everyone in the class was upset that they hadn’t taken the gift.  When was the last time any of us used the Gifts of the Holy Spirit?  Who even knows what the Seven Gifts are?

Go up to the foot of the Altar.  Take the gift from Our Lady!

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Mother Mary Info

Okay.  We’re coming to the big climax.

I think you’ll agree with me that we were all given tremendous gifts by Our Lady during our lifetime. And she never stops giving.  But now it’s time to give back.

Next Tuesday, September 8, is Mary’s Birthday.  Honor her.  Go to Mass.  I know it’s not a Holy Day of Obligation, but do it anyway.

I know you’re going to say, “Oh I can’t get off work!”  “I’ve got to be on the job!”  “I have a full schedule at school.” I don’t know where there’s a church that’s having Mass.”

Don’t let the world get in your way.  She is your Mooother.  She has given to you.  Give to Her.  Or She will get you.  Just sayin…  I’m telling you this because I love you.  Mary loves you.  Love her back.

And FYI, the next day is my birthday.  So while you’re at Mass on Mother Mary’s birthday, pray for my special intention.  We love you!

Pray the Rosary.
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Check out the Timeline at our Facebook Page

May 16, 2014

We have just added many new feature apps to our timeline at Facebook.

Go here to view our page and be sure to like us.
You can access all the new features and apps  by clicking the arrow at the top right.

timelineHere are some of the applications we have added:
1. Pilgrimage information under the Pilgrimages App
2. Our Blog under the Blog App
3. Our Newsletter under the Newsletter App
4. Our Website under the Website  App
5. Our Youtube Videos
6. Our Twitter Feed
7. Coupons App
8 And more


Special offer

Finally, we want to honor Mother Mary in a special way this year.

Be sure to click the Special Offer Tab and check out the 50% discount on Many Faces of Mary dvds and books for the Month of May.

Brother Joseph Freyaldenhoven
Bob and Penny Lord Ministries

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Mary Speaks To Her Children At Knock, Ireland

February 20, 2012

Or is She speaking to us all!

On August 21, 1879, a rainy day to be sure, our Lady came to Knock, Ireland, with St. Joseph, St. John the Evangelist, a Paschal Lamb, and a Heavenly Army of Angels. She appeared at the back of the Knock church, and stayed there, with fourteen visionaries, for a period of about three hours, in the pouring rain. But in all that time, She never said a word to anyone, nor did She even acknowledge their being there, except when one of them got too close, fourteen year old Patrick Hill, at which point our Lady moved back away from the child. During the investigations which followed the apparition of Mary, a great obstacle was the fact that She said nothing. Till today, Knock has never been officially approved by the Church, even though two Popes have visited the Shrine, the most recent being the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Apparition, August 21, 1979, when Pope John Paul II came as a pilgrim to Knock Shrine, and left Our Lady of Knock a gold rose..

When we first wrote of Knock and our Lady’s Apparition, in our book, The Many Faces of Mary, a love story, we thought She said nothing because She was pleased with Her Irish children and their faithfulness under the worst conditions. We still believe that is true, but only part of the truth. Curiously enough, it was the Angels that made us realize what Mary was actually doing in Knock, Ireland.

One night, in New Orleans, while preparing our slides for a lecture tour of that holy state, (that was before we had made videos and DVDs, and programs for EWTN) we saw something in the Apparition at Knock that just snapped us to attention. It was the Angels! On the right side of the Apparition, there was an Altar with a Lamb and a Cross, surrounded by Angels. The Angels’ wings were fluttering in the Apparition. We had been taught, maybe a month before this time, about St. John Chrysostom, a Doctor of the Church, one of the Early Fathers. St. John said that when the priest extends his hands over the bread and wine at the beginning of the Eucharistic Prayer, he summons down the Holy Spirit! You listen the next time you’re at Mass. The Angels don’t have the power to summon down the Holy Spirit, but our priests, by their ordination and consecrated hands, have been given that power. St. John taught that when the Holy Spirit descends upon the altar, He is accompanied by tens of thousands of Angels, present on the Altar to protect and adore the Eucharist.

That was it! That’s what Mary was trying to tell us at Knock, Ireland in 1879. It was the Mass, the Eucharist. She was telling us to defend the Eucharist! Our belief in, and the importance of, the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, is under such attack today. Then our eyes traveled to the center of the apparition, to St. John, dressed as a Bishop, holding open the Book of the Gospel. The Word; Mary was telling us to defend the Word. The Gospel is so fragile. It’s like a crocheted sweater. If you pull one thread, the whole sweater unravels into a heap. Cast doubt on one part of the Word, and the rest will topple with it. Some people tell us Jesus did not physically resurrect from the dead.

It was a spiritual Resurrection. Well, if He didn’t resurrect, as it says crucified, was He really born? And if He was not really born, is there a God? So, you can see how we must defend and protect the Word with our lives. And then, we looked to the left, at Mary and St. Joseph. In the slide we show, a lady was kneeling at the side altar, and had left her infant at the feet of St. Joseph. The Family; we could see the Family. Mary was telling us to defend the Family.

Mary was speaking to us loud and clear at Knock. Save the Eucharist, because if you destroy the Eucharist, you destroy the Church! Save the Word, because if you destroy the Word, you destroy the Church! Save the Family, because if you destroy the Family, you destroy the Church, and you destroy the World!

Prophecy? Was Mary warning us of things to come? Was the message of Knock for the people of Ireland of 1879, or the people of the world of today? One year, when we were interviewing Fr. Joseph Pio at San Giovanni Rotondo, getting background for our documentary on Padre Pio, he called our Lady of Knock – Our Lady of the Apocalypse!

Saint Louis Marie de Montfort said, “in Scripture Mary was silent; but in the last days, She will be like John the Baptist, heralding the coming of Christ. She will no longer be silent.” In this apparition, Mary said nothing, but She said everything. But we did not understand. In Fatima, She warned us, but gave us a way out – “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.” Too many people took that to mean we didn’t have to move a muscle. Mary was going to take care of everything.

Now She is appearing all over the world and She is talking, warning, pleading. But this time, She’s not talking about how She’s going to do it, and how Her Immaculate Heart will triumph. She’s pointing to us. She’s telling us to get up off our duffs, and get the job done! Save the Eucharist; Save the Word; Save the Family; Save the World. And She’s not beyond sending Angels to teach us and direct us, as She did at Knock and Fatima. We really believe we’re at zero hour. These may truly be the end times, the final days. Do we dare not listen and respond?

For more about the Knock Apparition and other Marian Apparitions go here


Our Lady of Pontmain

September 6, 2011

Our Lady of Hope

Our Lady of PontmainJesus loves His Mother so much.  She, on the other hand, loves us so much; she always comes to us, to help us, to guide us, to plead with us, to plead for us.

We have one complaint, however.  She picks the most out of the way places to visit us.  If it’s not a high mountain place, like La Salette, where you take your life in your hands to get up there, it’s a village in the middle of nowhere, where there are no decent roads as in the instance of Fatima, and no directions, as at Pontmain, France.

Pontmain is not even a town, but a village.  It’s not on the map.  No one in the United States talks about it, because no one knows where it is.  Yet, it’s a very special place, very out of the way, but so wonderfully out of the way that it remains untouched.  In those days before Google Maps and GPS systems, there was no reason why we were able to find this place, except that Our Lady had determined that she wanted us to go there, so that we could spread her message at Pontmain to the world.

Pontmain is a small village on the borderline between the Normandy and Brittany sections of France.  It is very small, situated between Fougeres and Mont St. Michel, which is on the Normandy Coast. In the winter, there are cold, howling winds, bringing icy weather to the entire area.

The winter of 1871 was such a time.  January was an especially brutal time for man and beast.  Those who could avoid it did not venture out into the weather.   But unfortunately, not everybody could stay at home.

France was engaged in a war with the infamous Bismarck, and his mighty Prussian troops.  The little people, the common folk, flocked to their churches, to the shrines of the Rue du Bac, La Salette, and Lourdes.  They prayed, fearful that it was too little too late, but hopeful, knowing that Our Lady was a merciful Mother, that their prayers would not fall on deaf ears.  Rosaries, Stations of the Cross, confessions, fasting, communions, all were offered up to their Heavenly Mother in a desperate plea for help.

We can just picture in our mind’s eye, millions of angels carrying all these prayers and offerings up from the earth and laying them at the feet of their Queen.  They had to run out of room in Heaven for all the prayers and petitions offered up.  At one point, Mary’s beautiful eyes might have looked out over the land she had tried so hard to protect, that she had loved so much.  We can imagine a sadness coming over her sparkling eyes.  Perhaps a tear slipped down her velvety cheek, and descended to the earth; when it landed, an explosion of energy lit up the entire sky.  It happened on January 11, 1871.  Scientists called it an Aurora Borealis.  The faithful called it Mary to the Rescue.

Many of the young men of Pontmain had answered the call to duty.  They were somewhere in the war zone, but no one knew where, or how they were.  Stories of the massacres the French were suffering at the hands of their enemies, found their way back to the town.  In addition, the Prussian troops had gotten to Laval, a town extremely close to Pontmain.

On the evening of January 17, the men of the Barbedette family were working in their barn.  Dinner would be ready soon, but they wanted to get finished with their chores before going inside.  It had begun to snow lightly, not like the other days.  The winds had died down.  The pure white powder fell gently, as if it had come directly from Heaven.  Monsieur Barbedette, known as Bierot, his sons Eugene 12 years old, and Joseph, aged 10, were all working side by side.  It was about 6 in the evening.  In the recesses of their minds was concern over the third Barbedette son, Auguste, who was away fighting the war.  The father felt that by working, he could take his mind off his fears; but it was not happening.  Not an especially religious man, he found himself praying his rosary under his breath.  A neighbor woman, Jean Detais, came by with rumors about the war situation, and possible news about the son Auguste.

Eugene could not get over how gently the snow had fallen outside.  He couldn’t hear a sound.  There was not the slightest breeze blowing, much less the Gail storm winds that had buffeted the area earlier that day.  He walked to the door of the barn.  He didn’t want to hear any bad news about Auguste.  He thought that by walking away from it, by not listening to Jean Detais, he could prevent it from happening. The night cold air was refreshing.  He looked outside.  The snow had stopped.  He remarked to himself how unusual it was that the sky was so full of stars, though there was no moon that night.  He looked around him.  He was immediately frozen to the spot.

Above neighbor Augustin Guidecog’s house, about twenty five feet in the air, a beautiful lady was suspended in the air, her arms outstretched.  She was looking at him, and smiling.  He had never seen anything like her in his life.  Her eyes gleamed like stars.  Her teeth were pearl white.  They sparkled as she smiled at him.  To the 12 year old Eugene, she was a lady, but she appeared to be about 18 to 20 years old.  She wore blue, but dark blue, darker than the sky.  Her dress was long and loose;  her sleeves flowed, and on her collar was a band of gold.  There was a black veil on her head, topped by a gold cap which resembled a crown.  A thin red band ran across the cap.  She wore blue slippers tied with gold ribbons.

The neighbor woman noticed the boy standing in a daze at the door.  He was staring up into the sky.  She went over to him to see what the matter was.  He asked her to look up in the sky and tell him what she saw.

“I see nothing.” she answered.

Eugene looked at her incredulously.  How could she not see a lady suspended in air.  It was the most unusual sight he had ever seen, and she couldn’t see it.  He called his father and brother to look up at the sky.  Bierot could not see anything, but young Joseph’s expression turned to joy as he looked up above Guidecog’s barn.

“I see a beautiful lady”. he exclaimed.  He proceeded to describe the scene in detail, just as Eugene had seen it.

The father, Bierot, ordered the boys back into the barn to finish their work.  He told Jean Detais, the neighbor, not to mention what they had said to anyone.  She promised that she would not.  The boys returned to the barn.  Bierot took one last look before he closed the barn door.  What could it be that they had seen?  There was nothing unusual in the sky.  The stars were brighter than he remembered seeing them before, but that was probably because the wind had blown all the clouds away.

The spark of a thought kept gnawing away at the back of his mind.  He had been working with the boys all day. Their behavior had been normal.  They hadn’t acted silly.  As a matter of fact, there had been a serious tone to the day.  They were all worried about the well-being of Auguste.  It would have been out of character for them to take a sudden turn to silliness, as he had first attributed their claim about a lady  in the sky.  Then, he thought, they didn’t see the lady at the same time.  First Eugene saw her, and then Joseph.  They both described her in the same way.  Bierot took one last look in the sky, shrugged his shoulder, and went back to work.

The boys could not get the beautiful lady out of their minds.  Her gaze warmed them, as if she had covered them with her mantle.  The eyes, those cobalt blue eyes that pierced them, the sparkling teeth, the delicate features of her face, formed an indelible impression on their mind.  They worked quickly, which was not like them at all.  When they had finished their work, they raced each other to the barn door.  They pushed it open, and looked out.  She was still there.  She was still smiling at them.  She was radiant.

Bierot called his wife;  maybe she would see something.  This was driving him crazy.  Mrs. Barbedette came to the barn door.  She looked up, but saw nothing.  Her husband was somewhat relieved.  However, as a precaution, just in case it was a vision from Heaven, they all knelt down to say five Pater Nosters and five Ave Marias.  Then they went into the house for supper.

The boys wolfed their food down, so that they could run back outside to see if the Lady was still there.  As soon as the last mouthful had been finished, they ran outside the door again.  She was still there.  The mother asked them to describe how tall she was.

“She’s about the same size as Sister Vitaline.”

This gave the mother an inspiration.  She called the nun, asked her to look up into the sky, to see if she could see anything.  Sr. Vitaline could not.  The boys were becoming frustrated.

“How can you not see it?”  Eugene cried out. “She is so brilliant.  Can you see a triangle of bright stars?”

Everyone agreed that they could see three bright stars, which they had never seen before, and never saw again, except for that night.

“Well, the top of the triangle is where her head is, and the two stars at the bottom are at a level with her shoulders.  Can you see that?”

No one but Eugene and Joseph could see the lady.

Mrs. Barbedette had heard the stories which had made their way up from the south of France about the two children from La Salette, and the little girl at Lourdes, who had claimed to have seen the Blessed Virgin.  Perhaps this was the same, and only children could see the apparition.  She took the nun with her, and together, they went back to Sr. Vitaline’s school.

There were three children there. The nun asked them to come along with her and Mrs. Barbedette, to see if they could make out anything unusual in the sky.  As they walked towards the home of the Barbedette’s, one of the children, Francoise Richer, age 11, pointed up into the sky.

“There’s something very bright above Monsieur Guidecog’s barn”, she exclaimed.  Mrs. Barbedette and the nun looked at each other.

As they got closer, both Francoise and a younger girl, Jean-Marie Lebosse, age 9, cried out, “Oh, the beautiful lady, with the blue dress and the golden stars”.  No one had said anything to these two.  They had no idea of what they were supposed to be looking for.  They had not spoken to the Barbedette boys as yet.  But they saw the same thing that Eugene and Joseph had seen.  The third child, however, saw nothing.

Word of the event spread through the little village rapidly.  Soon, just about every resident of Pontmain was at the Barbedette barn, looking up into the clear winter sky, praying for a glimpse of the Lady.

She became enclosed in a blue, almond shaped frame, from which protruded four candles, two at the level of her neck, and two at the level of her knees.  On her heart, a tiny red cross appeared.

The gathering took on the semblance of organization as the local priest, Fr. Guerin came upon the scene.  The children reported that the expression on the face of the Lady had fallen into sadness.  The priest ordered everyone on their knees in prayer.  They began to recite the Rosary, the favorite prayer of Mary.  The first of 5 changes began to take place.

As she listened to the earnest prayers of the people for peace, and for the safe return of their children, the visionaries saw her begin to swell in size.  She grew to almost double her original size.  The triangle of stars grew with her, but the rest of the stars made way for the magnificent visitor, queen of all the stars in the heavens.  Some of the stars became enmeshed in her gown, while others positioned themselves at her feet.

A Sister Marie-Edouard, who was well known as a leader, began to lead the people in singing the Magnificat.  The children shouted out as a new development took place.  A banner formed at the feet of the Lady, between her and the top of the barn.  It was about the size of the roof of the barn, and as they sang, a word was formed on the top of the banner.  It was MAIS, which means “BUT”.  As the hymn came to the end, the sentence was formed.


The children called out the sentence as it appeared.  A shout of joy was sounded among the people.  They began to pray the Litany of Mary.  Another sentence appeared.


Our Lady of Pontmain

Basilica of Our Lady of Pontmain

As the children read out this sentence, the people began to weep tears of joy.  It is Mary.  She’s there to help them.  Praise Jesus!  He allowed her to come again.  As the assemblage wept and praised God and His magnificent mother, the Lady began laughing.  The children shouted, “Look, she’s laughing…..Look, she’s laughing!!”  Soon, the people were affected by the laughter of the Lady.  Everyone laughed with her.

They began to sing another hymn to Our Lady.  Under the first sentence, a much larger letter began to be formed.  It came to them in three stages.  The first was


It stayed like this until they began to sing the Salve Regina, at which point the next two words were formed.


At the very end of the Salve Regina, the last word of the sentence was formed.


The entire sentence was

Mon Fils Se Laisse Toucher – My Son Allows Himself To Be Touched

Another translation of

the sentence is


In a small village in the middle of nowhere, at the very darkest hour, Mary, the giving Mary, the loving Mary, began a precedent which has stayed with us from that time until this.  We can change His mind through His Mother.  Tribulation and chastisement can be lessened, minimized, and very possibly done away with, through the intercession of the beautiful Lady who was given to us at the foot of the Cross.

At a given point, the group began to pray the evening prayers.  It was about 8:30 at night.  A large white veil appeared at the feet of Our Lady.  Slowly, it ascended, covering her as it climbed up.  Within a short time, it covered all of her except her face.  It stopped for a beat, as she looked down at her children with so much love.  Then it moved up over her face. to her crown, where it stopped.  The crown could be seen for a moment, and then, it, too, vanished.  It was 9 o’clock.  She had been with them for three hours.

There was an entry made in the log of the Prussian Army for January 18, 1871.  They had entered Laval, a short distance from Pontmain.  The army was ordered to stop their advance, turn around and return to Paris.  There was no reason

given; the order was executed.  The troops left the area.  Within ten days, the war was over.  An armistice was signed.  All the soldiers from the little village of Pontmain were returned unharmed.  The swift action of the Lord in honor of the request of His Mother, was realized.

Of all Our Lady’s apparitions, this one is our favorite, in that the Message is one of Great Hope, of Mercy.  This is the Mary we know, the Mary of Hope.  This is the Jesus we know, the One who wants to be touched, who wants to change His mind.  My Son Allows Himself To Be Touched

[What you have read is a condensed version of the Chapter on Our Lady of Pontmain in Bob and Penny Lord’s book, The Many Faces of Mary Book I.  For ordering information go to

The Visitation – May 31

May 31, 2011

“My Soul magnifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior”

Reflecting on the Second Joyful Mystery of the Rosary, the little virgin from
Nazareth begins to grow overwhelmingly in our eyes. We see the obedience of
At the Annunciation, recognizing the Angel as a messenger of God, she
had said yes to bearing the Son of God. When the Angel Gabriel told her that
her cousin Elizabeth was with child, she trusted in his word knowing he was from
God. Because she, like the other people of Israel, had been preparing for the
Messiah, and had studied the Word, she knew the Lord would have wanted her to go
and serve her cousin; and so she obeyed, once more. As we walk through the rose
petals that make up the Rosary, we will encounter the many times Mary obeyed.
As we learn more about Jesus, we realize that His Life was our path to Heaven.
As you walk with Mary, you will discover she knows the way.
We see the selflessness of Mary in action. Her choice to be for her cousin
Elizabeth during her pregnancy shows an unconditional caring for others, that
we’ve only seen in One other Person in the history of the world, her Son Jesus.
But, there was something else. Although there was a familial bond between
Mary and her cousin Elizabeth, we believe there was another bond, which had
been molded in Heaven. The plan to have the Angel tell Mary of her cousin’s
pregnancy had to begin in Heaven. Can we not see God formulating His plan? The
son of Elizabeth would be the one who would herald the Messiah, the Son of Mary,
into the world.
Neither of these women should have been pregnant. Mary was a virgin; Elizabeth
was barren. There had to be a Heavenly connection between them. Is this
why the Angel told Mary about her cousin being “with child”? Did the Lord
want her to go and serve her cousin Elizabeth? Were she and Elizabeth part
of a particular plan of the Father’s? Had an Angel told Elizabeth, when she
conceived, that her child would be special, too? Were these things going
through Mary’s mind, as she proceeded on her appointed mission?
When we see statues or paintings of Mary, for the most part, they depict a very
delicate, almost Dresden-like Mary. And I am sure, she had all those qualities.
But Mother Mary was also strong! We will see, as we journey in faith with her
and her Son through the Rosary, how very strong she was. The trip from Nazareth
to Ein Karem, where Elizabeth and Zechariah lived, was long and dangerous. Mary
had to travel through the mountains of Judea, past Jerusalem. Today, it is a
challenge. In the time of Jesus and Mary, with dirt roads, cut out by people
traveling by donkey or by foot, it had to be hazardous for someone with child.
But Mary did not think, for one moment, about her comfort. The Angel had told
her of her cousin’s need and she said yes, one more time.
There was a radiance about Mary as she traveled to her cousin’s house. The
words of the Angel echoed in her soul:
“Do not fear, Mary. You have found favor with God. You shall conceive and
bear a Son and give Him the name Jesus…..He will rule over the house of Jacob
forever, and His reign will have no end….The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the Power of the Most High will overshadow you; hence, the holy offspring to
be born will be called Son of God.” (Luke 1:30)
Mary proceeded, in haste, to fulfill the Angel’s command, never once looking
back. The Angel had told her not to be afraid. And she trusted his message,
knowing it was from the Lord. Mary believed, the Lord would take care of her
and her unborn Child. She knew that the Child she was carrying had the special
protection of the Father’s “Heavenly Army of Angels.” What then was there to
Son of God! She couldn’t get these words out of her mind. Her senses reeled at
the thought. She was to be the mother of the Son of God. It was incredible!
She was carrying God inside her body. What would He be like? How would their
life together, be?
As soon as Elizabeth saw her, “the baby leapt in her womb. She was filled with
the Holy Spirit.” This was to fulfill the prophecy the Angel Gabriel gave to
“…and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother’s womb.”
Tradition tells us that, at this meeting with Jesus, while both were still in
their mothers’ wombs, John was freed from original sin. While he was conceived
with sin, we are told he was born without sin.
There was immediate recognition between the two unborn babies, John and
Jesus. A bond between the two children, conceived in Heaven before the dawn
of creation, was affirmed at this meeting, and further confirmed at the Jordan
River some thirty years later. Thus did Jesus say of John, “In truth I tell
you, of all the children born to women, there has never been anyone greater than
John the Baptist.”
A similar bond was forged between Mary and Elizabeth. The skies opened; the
brilliance of the Holy Spirit descended on both women. It was as if Mary and
Elizabeth were given total knowledge of God’s plan, through the movement of the
Spirit. Whatever had not been revealed to them before, suddenly became crystal

Elizabeth cried out in a loud voice:
“Blest are you among women and blest is the fruit of your womb. But who am I
that the mother of my Lord should come to me? The moment your greeting sounded
in my ears, the baby leapt in my womb for joy. Blest is she who trusted that
the Lord’s words to her would be fulfilled.”
There is so much in this statement of Elizabeth’s. Scripture scholars tell us
that Elizabeth’s meaning in her first sentence was: “Blest are you among women”
because “blest is the Fruit of your womb”. With this declaration, Elizabeth
prophesied Mary’s future role in the world, and in the Church, that Mary would
be blessed among all women. It is true that Mary said yes to the Angel Gabriel.
But, it was by the Fruit of her womb, she was blessed among all women. Mother
Mary will tell you that, of herself, she is nothing. She always points to her
Son. She is the intercessor to her Son; she is not the One Who brings about
miracles, Who heals, Who forgives, Who gives us life. She points to her Son.
A priest once said, “What did Mother Mary do? She stood there and allowed the
Holy Spirit to fill her. And because of this, the world will never be the
same.” One name that our Mother appeared under, was “Our Lady of Hope”. She
is our Mother who turns to her Son Jesus, and through His love for her, we have
hope that He will give us another chance. Like Abraham and Moses, she is always
asking for another chance for her children, you and me.

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Our Lady of Laus – Refuge of Sinners

April 30, 2011
Family, we have traveled thousands of miles across the seas to beloved France, “eldest daughter of the Church.” Our Lady has called us to bring you the best kept secret for 400 years, a Sanctuary, a Shrine to Our Lady Refuge of Sinners,  a place to come to shed everything which separates you from Our Lord, which we pray will touch your heart as it has ours.  Pray and listen to your heart, for this, her gift is just for you.

We’re at a small village in southernFranceat the foot of theAlps, southeast of Gap, called Laus, where Our Lady appeared to a young girl almost 400 years ago.  It has only been approved byMotherChurchin 2008, and yet it has been an ongoing place of pilgrimage for the French these last 400 years!  Noteworthy is the fact that this is the longest period Our Lady has appeared to anyone, in the history of her apparitions – 54 years!  Also interesting is the fact that the cause for the Beatification of the visionary, Benoite Rencurel, which had become dormant almost a hundred years ago, has now become very active, due to the efforts of the Bishop of the Diocese, Jean-Michel di Falco Leandri, who has a great devotion to Our Lady of Laus.

Our Lady touched the heart of the Bishop of the Diocese of Gap and Embrun, Jean-Michel di Falco Leandri, who pushed for the official approval of the devotion to Our Lady of Laus.  He had always had a great devotion to Our Lady of Laus.  When we interviewed him for our television program for EWTN, he explained that because the Shrine was frequented by the faithful for so many years, his predecessors did not see the need to ask for official approval byMotherChurch.  When he was consecrated Bishop of the diocese in 2004, he immediately began the work needed to open the Cause for the Beatification of Benoite Rencurel.  The officials inRometold him that before that could be considered, he, as Bishop of the Diocese, should have the apparitions at the Shrine approved by the Church.  There was no reason why this Shrine, which had been a place of pilgrimage for so many, including St. Peter Julian Eymard and other Saints, had not received the official blessing ofMotherChurch.  He immediately put the paperwork into the works, and on May 4, 2008, the 344th anniversary of the Apparition by Our Lady to Benoite Rencurel, the Shrine was officially approved byMotherChurch.

The Bishop proclaimed that this is the first apparition of Our Lady approved by the Church in the 21st Century, and the first approved by the Church inFrancesince the 19th Century.

What first aroused our interest in this shrine began during our research of St. Peter Julian Eymard, founder of the Blessed Sacrament Fathers inParis. We found a deep love of our Mother Mary manifested in his devotion to Our Lady of Laus, a shrine we knew little about.  St. Peter Julian was born near Laus, actually between Laus and La Salette, and made many pilgrimages to both these shrines during his lifetime.  He was given a great deal of comfort and solace by Our Lady during times of stress.  When he was a mere eleven years old, through repeated pleading, St. Peter Julian received permission from his father to make a 50 kilometer (around 30 miles) pilgrimage to Laus on foot, his only nourishment what little bread he received begging.  When he arrived at the Shrine, he immediately entered the church to pour out his heart to His Heavenly Mother.  He found comfort in Our Lady at this Shrine all his life.  Whenever he had to face difficulties in his life and his vocation, he would make the trip to Our Lady here at her Shrine in Laus.

At the end of his life, literally days before he died, he returned to his favorite Marian Shrines.  The plan had been to visit La Salette first, and then his Lady at Laus.  He wrote his sisters to that effect.  But after having made the trip to La Salette, his strength gave out.  The rector of the Shrine at La Salette brought him back to his home in La Mure, where he died, not having accomplished his wish to go to Laus one last time.
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